Robert's blog

Book Buying at Beers as of January 30, 2015

Hey everybody,

I just want to post an up-to-date list of what we're looking to buy here at Beers.

There are a handful of books we'd love to get our hands on right now--mostly best-selling non-fiction: Boys in the Boat, American Sniper, Wild, Game of Thrones books, Outlander books, Unbroken, Gulp! and Cooked. In addition, there are some more recent titles that are perennially popular that we would love to get: books by Michael Pollan, Amy Stewart, Neil Gaiman, Rebeca Solnit, Marc Reisner, Mary Roach and Erik Larson. Books by Victor Frankl are much-needed. Canonical Western Philosophy books are always good (Descartes, Spinoza, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre, etc.), and so are big Critical Theory titles (Slavoj Zizek, Judith Butler, Jacques Derrida, Alain Badiou, Gayatri Spivak, Homi K. Baba, Franz Fanon, etc.). We're always on the lookout for kids' classics by Maurice Sendak, Margaret Wise Brown, Shel Silverstein, paperback Harry Potter books, books by John Green. Additionally, we could usually use recent and popular literary fiction--books like The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins or All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (we're less interested in the latest pop fiction by a David Baldacci or John Grisham--who we prefer to get in mass-market paperback form). There are classics that we always need--Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, The Sun Also Rises, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Silent Spring, books by Kurt Vonnegut and just to rattle off a few.

There are some other subjects, too, that we need in general: interesting titles on homesteading and survivalism (Foxfire books, for example), monographs by very famous contemporary artists like Julian Schnabel or Damien Hirst, Astrology books, books on canning and preserving, books on fermentation and fermented foods, books by or about Carl Jung. We could always use copies of Mastering the Art of French Cooking (we would buy other classic cookbooks as needed, also, and current cookbooks by Mark Bittman or Yotam Ottolenghi or Sandor Ellix Katz, to name a few). Books on the first World War are in high demand. Interesting titles published by Folio Society. We are always looking for tarot sets in good repair, books on metalwork and contemporary books on wiring and electronics.

Aside from these and a handful of desirable titles, we would buy books as needed in many subjects. Classic Literature, Mysteries, Art Books, Audiobooks on CD, DVDs, Local History, Eastern Philosophy and Religion, Childrens' Books, Graphic Novels, books on Guns and Knives, Hunting and Fishing, the Sciences, Social Sciences, Natural History, and Psychology are traditionally very good subjects for us, and we are always looking to round out gaps in our collection, but we are also stuffed to the gills with books in many of these subjects.

And with the exception of very current or popular titles, we probably don't need books on Parlor Games and Puzzles, General Fiction, Poetry (we could always use certain authors, though--Neruda, Eliot, Anne Carson, or John Ashbery, for example), Science Fiction (though we could always use certain books--Dune or Ender's Game, for example--and certain authors are perenially popular--we'll always pick up Terry Pratchett), General History (we're always looking for current books like Greenblatt's The Swerve and classics--Durants, Tuchman, etc.--that we don't have). Literary Biographies and Celebrity Biographies would be a hard sell at this point.

There are some books that we never take: books in poor condition, books with highlighting and underlining, Readers Digest books, abridged books, and magazines (with the exception of a handful of quarterlies: we won't take Life or National Geographics, but we might pick up some Paris Reviews).